Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Instant cities and attractors: the example of San Cayetano

Attractor. Generated by Myriam Mahiques
Attractor. Generated by Myriam Mahiques
¨An attractor is a set towards which a dynamical system evolves over time. That is, points that get close enough to the attractor remain close even if slightly disturbed¨. This is a simple definition from Wikipedia. The geometric result of the attractor image is a fractal.
Conceptually, some cities or neighborhoods have ¨attractors¨, in which inhabitants are a complex system and no matter what, they keep close to a certain attractor. We can imagine a monument, a place of reunion that has a special meaning for the system, like our Plaza de Mayo. But the strongest I¨ve seen, at least in my country, is Luján Cathedral where thousands of parishioners gather for some special dates, and the one that most impresses me is San Cayetano church, in the neighborhood of Liniers, Buenos Aires.
Picture from La Nación
San Cayetano´s day is today. He is the saint of bread and work. To access the church today, parishioners coming from afar, build an instant city in a couple of days, with tents. The streets full of them. They share their experiences and food with other ¨neighbors¨ and keep on waiting till the church is open. After the event is finalized, everybody picks up their stuff and get back home.
A clear example of an instant non regulated ¨city¨ getting closer and closer to an attractor, San Cayetano.

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